Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.
Within her citadels God
has made himself known as a fortress. (Psalm 48:1-3)
Psalms 120 to 134 are called Songs of Ascent. They were sung by pilgrims going to Jerusalem for the three annual feasts they were required to attend. They also present a picture of the pilgrimage each believer must experience in this life. Read the rest of this entry
Psalm 87 describes Jerusalem during the Millennium, when Christ is reigning on the earth.
On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
the LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
Glorious things of you are spoken,
O city of God. Selah
Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush—
“This one was born there,” they say.
And of Zion it shall be said,
“This one and that one were born in her”;
for the Most High himself will establish her.
The LORD records as he registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.” Selah
Singers and dancers alike say,
“All my springs are in you.”
In Galatians 1:11 -2:10 Paul tells what happened to him after he first became a Christian. He ends the account by telling of a visit to Jerusalem.
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. (Galatians 2:1-3)
On December 6 President Trump announced that the United States embassy in Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Since Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, this seems like a reasonable step to take, yet this decision has been met with protests all over the world. The United Nations voted 128 to 9 to condemn it. The Palestinians have objected and threatened violence because they consider Jerusalem to be their capital.
Israel is unique among the nations of the world. It began when God told Abraham to go to another land and promised to make a great nation of his descendants.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. The descendants of Isaac became the nation of Israel and fulfilled God’s promise to make Abraham a great nation. Jerusalem became the capital of Israel. God’s temple was there and it was where Jesus was crucified, fulfilling the promise that all families of the earth would be blessed in Abraham. Read the rest of this entry
Jeremiah sent a letter to the exiles from Jerusalem who had been taken to Babylon, telling them how they were to live.
Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.
For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. (Jeremiah 29:5-10)